“Brethren, if we are to continue to grow—and to grow spiritually as well as in numbers—we must remember that the purpose of the Church is, first, to go into all the world and preach Christ’s gospel. The first commission to the Church is just that. Anyone who looks on that Great Commission of Christ as ‘Armstrong’s private work’ is just not a member of god’s Church. Anyone who does not have his whole heart in that work is not a member of god’s true church, and has no right whatsoever to attend or fellowship in any of its local congregations.”
“Why Local Assemblies?” The Good News, March 1954
“It’s hard to realize how this Work—in which you and I are privileged to be Co-Workers—has grown to such worldwide POWER and SCOPE! It is exerting tremendous IMPACT on more than 150 MILLION PEOPLE around the world.”
“…and I want you to REALIZE THIS SOBERLY—once that unseen Hand from Someplace…had miraculously OPENED THESE DOORS, if I had not walked through them in faith, ANOTHER WOULD HAVE BEEN RAISED UP WHO WOULD WALK THROUGH THEM—and WE—this ENTIRE CHURCH, including YOU and ME—would have been REJECTED BY THE LIVING CHRIST WHO IS THE HEAD OF THIS CHURCH!”
“…if I don’t walk through these doors, God will reject me and send someone who is willing to go!”
“Brethren, read this carefully: The ‘WORK’ is NOT the fellowship of your own local church—it is NOT a local SOCIAL CLUB—it is GETTING GOD’S MESSAGE TO THE WORLD—to those in India, the Philippines, in Africa, in South America! The PURPOSE of your local church is ITS PART in the WORK—WORLDWIDE. That’s the only reason YOU have been called now, instead of later. If The PLAIN TRUTH has to die, the WORK will die—and IF it does, it will be only because you members have already died SPIRITUALLY! You ALL—you in the Church as a whole—NEED A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING! Some of you have been criticizing instead of helping and PRAYING.”
“I know there is too much tendency to get your whole interest in your local church. But your local church IS NOT THE WORK!”
“God’s CHURCH for this age is called Christ’s ‘BODY.’ Why? As Jesus said He, Himself, divine though He was as well as human, could do NOTHING of Himself. It was the dynamic POWER of God’s HOLY SPIRIT working in Him. He came, among other things, to START the Work of God—the WORK FOR THIS AGE. When He went to heaven, the SAME HOLY SPIRIT entered into the COLLECTIVE BODY of His disciples. That begat them as God’s children. Now, with the SAME POWER working in them THEY—THE CHURCH—BECAME THE COLLECTIVE BODY TO CARRY ON THAT WORK, directed by the living CHRIST from Heaven!
“THAT is the real PURPOSE of the CHURCH, NOW! We are commissioned to get God’s Message to the world. THAT is WHY God called YOU, now, instead of later…”
Brethren Letter, April 12, 1971
“This is most URGENT and IMPORTANT.”
“I have said before that Satan was attacking the Work of the living GOD, and that he would attack again. Now suddenly he is pulling out ALL STOPS in an effort to DESTROY God’s Work.”
“Satan HATES God’s Church. He hates and seeks every way to DESTROY God’s great WORK—proclaiming the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD in all the world as a witness to all nations.
“Brethren, GOD’S WORK is the REASON for the very GROWTH OF, and EXISTENCE of God’s Church!”
“It seems incredible—unbelievable!!—but some of these ministers have allowed themselves to be blinded to the ONE BIG MISSION of God’s Church—to the TRUTH—to the FACTS, and to start denouncing in scathing and bitter tones, the very WORK, and chosen Ministers, of God.
“They began by ‘questioning’ this, that, and the other doctrine, finally exposing their REAL intent and purpose, questioning the doctrine of TITHING, and saying the tithes ought not to go for the GOSPEL WORK from Headquarters, but the tithes should stay in the local churches where, of course, it could go into their own pockets.”
“Brethren, this letter is going to have to be long. I want you to have ALL the facts—because the very life of GOD’S WORK is now being attacked with diabolical intent to DESTROY THE WORK!
“It is of VITAL importance that you read my letter on WHY God put you in His Church NOW, instead of later when He will offer salvation to the whole world.”
“The REAL ISSUE is whether the COMMISSION the living Christ has been carrying out through me and HIS CHURCH, of which HE is the living Head, should be carried on—or whether it should be abandoned, and your local churches become autonomous—self-governed by the local ministers, independent of any Headquarters where GOD’S WORK is directed and carried on. This means the local churches would be precisely like the Baptist churches in organizational structure and government. That concept is TOTALLY UNSCRIPTURAL. God’s Church is now established GOD’S WAY—the BIBLE WAY, under the biblical pattern, which Jesus Christ the living Head, under God the Father, and next under Christ those on earth He Himself has called and chosen, and through whom He has raised up this Church, and USED IT TO CARRY ON HIS WORK FOR THIS END-TIME as covered in the prophecy for OUR TIME in Matthew 24:14. GOD’S Church is organized the BIBLE WAY as directed in the Bible—through those HE has chosen and set in the various offices to get HIS WORK done.”
“Those now advocating this Scriptural HERESY want to abolish all authority which Christ as our Head SET in His Church. Their contentions would lead to VOTING—the ‘democratic way’—the very OPPOSITE of God’s Way. They want to be ‘LIBERAL,’ and soon this liberality would lead into general and widespread SIN. They would become just a few more churches OF THIS WORLD—Satan’s world.
“Yes, SATAN is the real author of this rebellion against God’s WORK.”
“Some ministers [are] getting confused between this world’s politics in the American ‘democratic’ system, and THE WAYS OF GOD…”
“These dissenting ministers want to desert God’s authority and ASSUME IT THEMSELVES. In other words they want ‘DEMOCRACY,’ VOTING which is TOTALLY un-scriptural. They want to be part of THIS world—Satan’s world. They want to be autonomous in government—INDEPENDENT of God’s HEADQUARTERS.
“This would DESTROY THE GREAT WORK OF GOD! This would put an END to the GREAT COMMISSION for our time—PREACH THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM IN ALL THE WORLD FOR A WITNESS UNTO ALL NATIONS, as we are now doing.
“Why, dear Brethren, THAT…would destroy the very REASON for the Church.
“Suppose we have local churches, all INDEPENDENT. We just ABOLISH THE WORK!…Each local church, in time, could build its own local church building—BUT THE GOSPEL WOULD STOP GOING TO THE WORLD!”
“The TITHES, of course, would not come to Headquarters to be used in the WORK! Where would they GO? To each local minister? What will the minister do with the money?”
“What they REALLY advocate and will try to draw some of YOU into, is simply THIS: DESTROY THE WORK OF GOD! Let the local flock spend ALL its tithes on themselves, or, let the local minister spend it all on HIMSELF, any way HE wishes to allocate it!
“SURELY, dear Brethren, God’s dear sheep are not stupid enough to be ‘taken in’ by disloyal, greedy, SELF-serving, rebellious local ministers who are rebelling against GOD…”
“Brethren, I ask you to FOLLOW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST—follow HIS CHURCH, not some split-off by rebellious, bitter, greedy MEN!”
“This thing is of SATAN, and that’s where I really place the guilt, rather than on these deceived men now allowing Satan to turn them the wrong way. Let’s PRAY for them, that their eyes may be opened.”
Brethren Letter, Feb. 25, 1974
“Too many of us have been getting our eyes OFF the main GOAL—OF God’s PURPOSE for us in our time, NOW. In order to DESTROY GOD’S WORK—to get our eyes off it—false ‘ISSUES’ have been raised—QUESTIONS designed to cause DOUBTS in your minds, to destroy FAITH—have been raised. Subtle, clever, deceptive methods have been used to detract us from and cause us to neglect God’s REAL PURPOSE for us today! We must immediately get back to THAT PURPOSE!”
“Jesus came as a Messenger bringing from God the most important Message ever announced to mankind. This Message was NEWS—the GOOD NEWS that the KINGDOM OF GOD would be restored to the earth, and already, even then, was AT HAND for those who would accept it and its KING, Jesus.”
“And since the CHURCH OF GOD is to BECOME the KINGDOM OF GOD, it is now, 1) a spiritual Organism, in which each begotten child of God has a personal contact, through Christ, in prayer and in fellowship, with the Father of the Family of which each of us is a begotten child. And in order to carry out the Divine Great Commission, 2) an ORGANIZATION, organized with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, to carry on what we customarily refer to as the WORK OF GOD.”
“Now notice I Corinthians 12: In this chapter God is showing that in THE WORK of the Church—proclaiming the Gospel to the world, and feeding the flock, there are different ADMINISTRATIONS, different OPERATIONS, in the Church, and for these, God has given various spiritual GIFTS, or empowerments, by His Holy Spirit.”
“So in the Church, God has set differences of ADMINISTRATIONS. For example, we have today the Division of Church Administration (CAD), or, Executive Administration over minister and churches. There is the Educational Administration, or Executive direction over the Colleges and Imperial Schools. There is Publishing Administration, Broadcast Administration over radio and TV, etc. This of necessity requires organization. The exact pattern or STRUCTURE may vary according to conditions, needs, etc., but the PRINCIPLE of the organization MUST BE THAT OF GOD’S GOVERNMENT, for the TOP, God, then Christ, on down, as CHRIST has directed and chosen.”
“The parallel instruction on the RANK of authority in the Church is in Ephesians 4, beginning with verse 11: ‘And he (Christ) gave some,…’ The RSV translates it more clearly: ‘And His gifts were that some should be apostles,’ etc. Continue, ‘some prophets, and some evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for THE WORK of the ministry (proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom to all the world), for the edifying of the body of Christ…’”
“Therefore the CHURCH is both the spiritual organism composed of the begotten (not yet born) children of God, and the organization or organized government of God on earth carrying on the WORK OF GOD—the Great Commission: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel,’—‘Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations;’—‘And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations,’ just before THE END of this age.”
“Without organization, the Church could never fulfill its Great Commission—its VERY PURPOSE FOR BEING, at the present time.”
“The Commission is: ‘Go ye INTO ALL THE WORLD’—‘Go ye, and teach ALL NATIONS;’—‘for a witness unto ALL NATIONS.’ No other body, church, or group is doing that! As to whether you can RUN AWAY from your part in that Commission, having been a part of it, and still hear Christ say to you, when He comes: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant,’ YOU answer. I shall not be your judge—you shall answer to the living CHRIST. I do know that I would be AFRAID to run from what God has called me to do, and then expect Him to bless me for it! And I will say, that the living Christ DOES NOT set up additional churches, on disloyalty, rebellion, false accusation, and character assassination.”
“WHY has God called you and me NOW, while we still have to fight and resist the cunning of Satan, AHEAD OF TIME—instead of WHEN CHRIST SHALL HAVE COME, AND PUT SATAN AWAY, AND SET HIS HAND TO CALL EVERY LIVING PERSON? The answer is, TO GET THIS JOB DONE!”
“So I ask you, dear Brethren—and my children in the Lord—to remain LOYAL TO CHRIST IN HIS WORK…”
Brethren Letter, May 2, 1974
“Unless we fulfill God’s special purpose for our calling now, we might never go into His Kingdom. This fact must not be taken carelessly!
“How many of us become unmindful of God’s purpose and assume we were called and put into God’s Church only to get our personal salvation – and to enjoy the fellowship and social life of our local church?”
“Brethren, do we not find ourselves taking for granted that the churches in what is called ‘Christianity’ are also God’s churches – that we are just another of the many denominations, the only difference being that we hold to some different doctrines?
“That is simply not true! We in God’s Church are not just one of all these churches. They are of this world. They do not have, or know, or proclaim, Christ’s gospel – the message God sent to the world by Christ, as the Messenger.”
“When [Christ] returns [Luke 19:11-24], He will demand of each of us to show how we have used the gift of His Holy Spirit – how much we have contributed to His Work – the purpose for which He put us in His Church now!…Those who prove disloyal or drop out of the Work – the only purpose for which you were called now – will find themselves in the position of the one described in verses 20 and 24. They will lose the very salvation they were trying to get!
“You are each admonished to ‘make your calling and election sure’!”
“Why Did God Put You in His Church?” The Good News, May 1974
“Ambassador College is not ‘the WORK.’ It is an instrumentality USED in ‘the Work’ to train personnel for positions in ‘the WORK.’”
“And God has given us ‘the WORK’ to do as the VERY MEANS BY WHICH we may grow spiritually, so we may enter His Kingdom at Christ’s coming. In 47 years I have observed that ONLY those whose hearts are fully IN THE WORK continue to overcome and grow SPIRITUALLY, and ENDURE.”
Brethren Letter, Nov. 18, 1974
“The purpose when founding Ambassador College was not to be in the ‘college business’ but to help me fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION.
“Always the work of the GREAT COMMISSION must remain foremost!”
“I repeat, ‘WE ARE NOT IN THE COLLEGE BUSINESS!’ The only reason for the continued existence of Ambassador College is to support and contribute to the work of THE GREAT COMMISSION. If it ever loses sight of this fact God will let it fail.”
Brethren Letter, April 17, 1978
“Our labors in GOD’S WORK will be ended soon after the resurrection of the impending United States of Europe!”
Co-worker Letter, Aug. 14, 1978
“We draw daily nearer to the end of this age. Time is growing shorter daily. The Bible warns us the time is just ahead when NO MAN CAN WORK—in the Lord’s Work. We must sacrifice now as never before for this Work that we may FINISH the Work that Christ has called us to do.”
Co-worker Letter, Oct. 23, 1980
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the message that Christ proclaimed. That message was the Good News or the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. That is the message He preached, the restoration of the Government of God by the coming Kingdom of God.
“The apostolic Church from A.D. 31 proclaimed it.”
“Today we carry on God’s Work in a world multiplied vastly larger in population, a mechanized, mechanical, complex world with instrumentalities to work with that were never dreamed of in the first century.”
“If anything happened to me I would expect the Church to continue right on and the local churches and the local church ministry.”
“Congress of Leading Ministers Hears Defined and Reemphasized Spiritual Organization of Church,”
The Worldwide News, March 6, 1981
“We CANNOT AFFORD TO BECOME LUKEWARM! We cannot afford to let our minds drift from the intense NEED for this very special mission of this particular time in world history, so shortly before Christ’s coming and HIS KINGDOM!”
“Now about the Work itself.”
“Few understand just what IS the Church. There are so many churches in the world. People just take churches for granted. But more than 1,953 years ago, Jesus Christ said, ‘I will build My Church.’ Few know WHY He built it—for what PURPOSE. The purpose, primarily, was dual:
“1) to proclaim to the world the Gospel Message God sent to mankind by Jesus as God’s Messenger (Mal. 3:1) of the coming Kingdom of God,
“2) to call and prepare a chosen people…”
“I have NEVER SAID I expect to live until Christ comes.”
Co-worker Letter, March 19, 1981
“Brethren, time is running out on us. When this great European power emerges, our great Work will be just about over. The day shall have arrived when ‘no man can work,’ as Jesus said (John 9:4).”
“NOTHING ELSE MATTERS NOW. We must sacrifice and devote our all that is reasonably possible to GOD’S WORK in these closing days.”
Co-worker Letter, July 16, 1982
“…brethren and co-workers, the prophesied Great Tribulation (nuclear World War III) will start soon after the European unification. That means OUR WORK OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE FINISHED! We have not now much more time. Soon shall come a FAMINE of hearing the Word of the Lord (Amos 8:11).
“God says, work while it is day, for the night is coming when no man can work—in the Work of God!
“Nothing else is important in our lives, now, but this all-important Work of God.”
Co-worker Letter, Nov. 22, 1982
“Brethren, this world is being destroyed for lack of knowledge of and from GOD, as we read in Hosea 4:6. Through my personal visits, and the PLAIN TRUTH magazine, on TV and radio and through other literature, we are proclaiming that knowledge in POWER and AUTHORITY. Some listen. It is God’s last witness against those who do not. BUT WE MUST DRIVE RIGHT ON UNTIL CHRIST COMES!”
Co-worker Letter, Nov. 18, 1984
“The Work of God was originally started by ONE man—Jesus Christ. But on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, the same Holy Spirit that had carried on God’s Work through his individual body entered into and empowered his apostles, and the entire COLLECTIVE BODY, which on and from that day constituted God’s Church.
“But, after proclaiming that gospel MESSAGE to the world of that day—after the Church had grown and multiplied in number and power, the headquarters Church at Jerusalem fled in the face of advancing Roman armies shortly before A.D. 70, became scattered, and under persecution—and because of discouragement because Christ had not yet returned in power and glory—the Church WENT TO SLEEP ON THE JOB of proclaiming Christ’s true gospel message!
“We are in a spiritual WAR—on the firing line with CHRIST as our general—firing spiritual bombs of GOD’S TRUTH—the message of Christ’s own GOSPEL—to make this whole world CONSCIOUS of the GOOD NEWS of Christ’s soon coming and his KINGDOM, to rule the happy, peaceful WORLD TOMORROW! There can be no letting down—no slacking—no quitting in this war!
“What would happen in a war if an army, by a sudden burst of effort, surged forward to win a single battle, then laid down their arms and decided to take it easy or go on furlough? They would then LOSE THE WAR! Christ said it is only he who endures to the end who shall be saved! LET US CARRY ON, more determined than ever—more dedicated and devoted to Christ’s great mission than ever! We must not win a partial battle, and then lose our war. LET US NOW PLUNGE ON HARDER THAN EVER TO FINAL VICTORY!”
Co-worker Letter, Oct. 25, 1985
“I ask you, brethren, in Jesus’ name, to put whatever you are able into God’s Work in this crisis hour before the…Tribulation that will cut off our work just prior to the soon-coming of Christ and the World Tomorrow.”
Co-worker Letter, Nov. 25, 1985
“I am now in my 94th year. God may grant that I continue in this very limited manner to direct the work for some time, but the occasional heart pains that I have endured have made me feel the necessity of letting our co-workers know of the condition as it is.
“Remember, this is the work of the living Creator God.”
“I thank God that He has organized this present work of His so thoroughly that regardless of the outcome of my present illness, the work will continue right on to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ…Christ is the Living Head of this work, and He will continue guiding those He has chosen right up to His Second Coming, which grows daily nearer at hand.”
Brethren Letter, Dec. 23, 1985
“This is my first letter to you in 1986, and could very well be my last…It may be that the Work God has given me to do is complete, but not the Work of God’s Church, which will be faithfully doing God’s Work till Christ, the True Head of this Church, returns.”
“Remember, brethren, this is not the work of Herbert W. Armstrong…or any man. It is the Work of the Living Creator, God…The greatest work lies yet ahead.”
Last Co-worker Letter, Jan. 10, 1986